When interviewed by FBI agents, Durkee "admitted that she had been misappropriating her clients' money for years and that the forms she filed with the state were false," the affadavit says.
The mail fraud charge stems from the alleged filing of falsified campaign reports. Prosecutors allege that Durkee transferred money from her clients’ accounts to pay her own business and personal expenses, including mortgage and credit card payments.
Durkee has served as treasurer of campaign committees for federal, state and local candidates, with clients including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, many state legislators and several Los Angeles City Council members.
The complaint alleges that on two separate occasions in 2010, Durkee transferred funds totaling $677,181 from an account belonging to the Solorio for Assembly 2010 committee to Durkee & Associates business accounts without Solorio's permission or knowledge.
The withdrawals were not reported on disclosure forms filed with the state.
Among other expenditures, more than $30,000 of that money went to pay for payroll expenses for Durkee & Associates, the complaint alleged.
An additional $17,533 went to pay American Express bills that included charges at Baskin Robbins and a Disneyland restaurant and the purchase of Amazon.com gift cards, while $4,950 went to help pay expenses for Durkee’s mother at an assisted living facility.
Solorio issued a brief statement Sunday with the subject line "I've been robbed."
The assemblyman said he hired Durkee "because she was regarded as a highly respected professional and, for decades, the treasurer for the campaigns of many prominent elected officials in the state."
Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento, said the case may widen to include activity involving the accounts of Durkee’s other clients. Horwood said she could not say how many other clients might be victims.
The FBI investigation began with a referral from the Fair Political Practices Commission, which investigated Durkee. L.A. NOW